In order for a company to get their product BPI certified, there are five different steps that they must go through. These steps are set up to ensure that the process is rigorous enough that consumers can be confident in knowing that products like their BPI certified K-Cups really are environmentally friendly.
The first of the steps involves using the ASTM standard to get the product tested. This can be done by submitting the product to one of the BPI approved labs, which will apply the thousands of ASTM testing standards to each element of the product to find out if they meet the criteria or not. Once the company receives their test results back from ASTM, they can move on to the second step of the process.
The second step is in place to protect the company and their products during the certification process. Since various organizations are going to have unrestricted access to the knowledge of materials and processes used in the creation of the product, there needs to be a way to ensure that this information does not get leaked to anyone. That is why the second step of the process involves signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that involves the company, BPI, and their partner association DIN CERTCO.
The NDA is signed once the applicants receive their testing results or can be signed beforehand if they are in need of assistance with the testing schemes. Once the NDA has been signed by all parties, the company then gives complete product descriptions and formulation disclosures to BPI, which include information like maximum thicknesses and more.
The third step of this certification process involves BPI taking all of the information that was provided to them by the company, including the test results, and sending it off to DIN CERTCO. It is then the job of DIN CERTCO to look through all of it and independently approve it.
After all of these steps have been completed, the hard part of the certification process is officially over, but there are still two more steps that the company needs to go through. The fourth step is the signing of a licensing agreement between BPI and the company. This licensing agreements give the applicant permission to put the compostable logo onto their product packaging and promotional material, along with various other BPI trademarks. These licensing agreements are valid for three years, at which point they will need to be renewed.
The last step of the certification process involved the company preparing various artwork samples of their product packaging, advertising materials, and web pages, so that BPI can see how the compostable logo will be used. After this step has been completed, the company is officially done with the certification process and are now free to promote their newly BPI certified product.